July 28, 2012 10:37:57 PM
A rose to Lowndes County District 4 Supervisor Jeff Smith for promoting the adoption of a comprehensive fire plan.
Only a few days after Smith went on record saying the county's fire coverage was desperately lacking, a home burned down in New Hope when it took more than an hour for a tanker truck to arrive on the scene. While there is no finger of blame to point -- the county relies on volunteer firefighters who can't always be available on short notice -- it is of little consolation to county residents for whom even a small fire can be catastrophic in the absence of a timely response from firefighters. Smith is right. The time to put together a real fire plan for the county is long overdue.
A thorn, yet again, to the Columbus-Lowndes Convention & Visitors Bureau for its handling of the annual budget process. The CVB met and approved its budget during a work retreat in Crawford. Although technically within its rights to conduct the business at this venue, by choosing to take up this matter during a retreat, the Board chose the time and place that was assured to invite as little public input and scrutiny as possible. The Board's conduct suggests that it would much prefer to handle the taxpayer money it is entrusted with in secrecy. It is a disservice to the community when the CVB acts in this manner. Where is the civic-minded leadership on this Board?
A rose to all those back-to-school shoppers who stayed "home" during the tax-free weekend and shopped at local stores. Too often, Golden Triangle residents are tempted to shop in other towns -- Tupelo, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham -- to the detriment of local retailers. When you shop locally, the economic impact tends to stay here, too. That's good for all of us.
A rose to Clifford Reynolds, who retired Friday as principal at West Lowndes High School. His retirement marked the end of more than 26 years of service to the state, including 16 years with the Lowndes County School District and four years as principal of WLHS.
Roses to Mary Dade Ford of Columbus and Holly Travis of Starkville for representing the Golden Triangle in the Distinguished Young Women of Mississippi 2013 state scholarship program in Meridian July 19-21.
Travis won a preliminary award in the category of self-expression and was named a top 10 finalist. She is the daughter of Rickey and Cynthia Travis. Ford is the daughter of Norman and Celia Ford.
Thirty-six young women, all winners at their local levels, vied for the state title, which went to Mackenzie Ross of Lauderdale County.
DYW was founded in 1957 as America's Junior Miss. It is the oldest and largest scholarship program for young women who have distinguished themselves in school and in their communities.
A rose to Oktibbeha County and Mississippi State University's National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center for combining to replace the county's outdated website with a state-of-the-art website that will make doing business with the county far easier for its residents. The new website is long overdue and on top of that, it didn't cost the taxpayers a penny. That's definitely rose-worthy!